In a letter to President Donald Trump, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Minority Leader Charles Schumer, the US Travel Association said that a national COVID-19 testing program is the only way to restart the $2.6 trillion American travel industry.
“The events of recent weeks have made very clear one indispensable component of efforts to spur a national recovery from the health and economic crises: broadening the availability of efficient, effective, 24-to-48-hour COVID-19 testing,” the letter from industry leaders stated.
“As a start, we urge the swift consideration and passage of the TEST Act, bipartisan Senate legislation that would enhance the resources and collaboration tools the federal government devotes to COVID-19 testing.”
The letter went on to say that there can be no broad economic recovery without a recovery in travel and the way forward entails widespread testing with fast results in addition to mask wearing and “the universal embrace of good health practices,” the group said.
“To maximize effectiveness, it is also important that testing methods return results within 24 to 48 hours.”
A bi-partisan TEST Act would:
• Improve the accuracy and speed of data collection for testing and contact tracing.
• Increase available resources for research, development, and validation of new, rapid, and accurate tests.
• Invest in expanded production, laboratory capacity, and testing sites.
• Increase access to worker testing.
• Develop digital tracing and tracking tools.
• Standardize tracing and tracking systems, and make them interoperable.
• Update and expand CDC testing guidelines.
The letter was signed by: Heather McCrory, Accor North America, Inc.; David Kong, BWH Hotel Group; Pat Pacious, Choice Hotels International, Inc.; Chrissy Taylor Enterprise Holdings, Inc.; Chris Nassetta, Hilton; Jim Risoleo, Host Hotels & Resorts; Mark Hoplamazian, Hyatt Hotels Corporation; George Markantonis, Las Vegas Sands Corporation; Elie Maalouf, InterContinental Hotels Group; Jonathan Tisch, Loews Hotels & Co; Arne Sorenson, Marriott International; Roger Dow, US Travel Association; and Geoff Ballotti Wyndham Hotels & Resorts.